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2018 New Year’s Resolutions: Ten goals for Indiana athletics

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What should the Indiana athletics programs aim for in 2018?

NCAA Basketball: Purdue at Indiana Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

With 2018 upon us, the time has come to look to the future and set goals as we aim to better ourselves and our lives. Whether it be losing weight, paying off debt, reading more, cursing less, or changing a bad habit, millions of people will set out in the next couple days to improve themselves and make 2018 their best year yet.

This oft-attempted, rarely-completed goal orientation is the subject for today’s #content. What New Year’s resolutions should Indiana athletics have?

10. Hire a new offensive coordinator.

Football will be mentioned on this list more than any other sport solely because of its earning potential. For all Indiana athletics programs to thrive, football has to be good enough to bring in money. That starts with getting rid of Mike DeBord. DeBord is probably a great guy and a good football mind. But it did not show in his first year running the offense in Bloomington. If I never saw another draw on 3rd down, it would still be too soon. Perhaps better quarterbacks and a better offensive line will be available and that will allow DeBord to flourish. More likely than not, though, change is needed.

9. Be respectable in non-conference play.

Embarrassing. Pitiful. Pathetic. Unacceptable. Use whatever word you’d like, but the men’s basketball team’s non-conference performance in 2017 has left much to be desired. With home losses to Indiana State and Fort Wayne, Archie Miller seems to have picked right up where Tom Crean left off. Fortunately, next season will bring some new faces and we’ll start seeing what a real Archie Miller team can look like. One thing is certain, though: this fanbase will not accept missing the NCAA Tournament three straight seasons and Miller desperately needs to start 2018-19 strong by taking care of business against the directional cupcakes and even knocking off a real opponent in events like the Gavitt Games or the Big Ten-ACC Challenge.

8. Win the Old Oaken Bucket.

The loss to Purdue in 2017 invited tons of negative feelings that have long-surrounded the football program to return faster and more furiously than anyone wished. Tom Allen, though certainly secure in the eyes of Fred Glass and other administrators at the university, should be an embattled head coach in the eyes of many fans. The quickest and easiest way for an Indiana football team to cure its ills? Win the Bucket.

7. Sell beer.

And if the football and basketball teams look anything like the 2017 variations, sell a lot of it.

6. Host a baseball regional.

Chris Lemonis’s team found its way back into the NCAA Tournament last season for the second time in his three years in Bloomington. With mixes of returning talent and strong underclassmen, good hitting and great defense, the Hoosiers could be primed for another big year. With a schedule that makes 40-45 wins look attainable, a standard NCAA Tournament appearance shouldn’t be the goal when the season starts. A regional at the Bart could be within reach.

5. Win a National Championship.

A stupid goal by a dude who appeared to be the biggest horse’s ass in collegiate soccer ended the men’s soccer team’s immediate quest for a ninth star just a few weeks ago. But with three members of the U20 national team, including Trey Muse, expected to return, the Hoosiers have no reason not to expect to find themselves back in the College Cup next Fall.

4. Sign Romeo Langford.

Would it mean as much as when Cody Zeller committed to Indiana during Tom Crean’s rebuild? Probably not. But it would be the first one-and-done talent to come to Indiana since Eric Gordon. And in today’s world of college basketball, those kinds of talents are often necessary to compete on the national stage. Perhaps it wouldn’t ultimately matter with the pieces that would be around him, but Langford choosing the Hoosiers over Kansas and Vanderbilt would officially signal progress in Bloomington.

3. Going Bowling.

Extra practice time, money, exposure - these are just a few of the reasons why the football team needs to find its way into a bowl game each and every year. For 2018, though, it may be more important than it has been since the passing of Terry Hoeppner as Tom Allen and co. try to stave-off in-state momentum that lies with Purdue.

2. Reach an agreement with Kentucky.

Enough is enough. Indiana and Kentucky should be playing basketball against each other every year. I know it. You know it. Everyone knows it. There is nothing - and I mean nothing - that Indiana should not be willing to put on the table to make this happen. The Crossroads Classic? Dump it in a heartbeat. Wanting the series to be a home-and-home? Aside from the Wat Shot, it was more fun when it was at a netural-site anyway. Future single-day events? Stop it. Indiana-Kentucky is more important and better than anything you can think up. It’s time for Fred Glass and Archie Miller to make it happen.

1. #NeverForget.